Lea N. Budzinski
1938 - 2021
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Lea N. Budzinski

Wisconsin Rapids - Lea N. Budzinski, age 82, of Wisconsin Rapids, passed away Wednesday February 17, 2021 at Marshfield Medical center.

A private service for relatives only will be held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Nekoosa, Rev. John Swing will officiate. Visitation at 10:30 a.m. with mass at 11:00 a.m. Burial will be at a later date at Restlawn Memorial Park. No flowers please. Memorials may be designated to the South Wood County Humane Society. Feldner/Ritchay Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Lea was born May 29, 1938 in Milwaukee to Donald and Garland (Hewlette) Smith. The family later moved to Wisconsin Rapids where Lea graduated from Lincoln High School in 1956. She married Alex Budzinski on February 17, 1968 and worked in the office at Gross Common Carrier for 30 years.

Lea and Alex loved to travel in their motor home, visiting 49 states. For 21 years they wintered in Arizona where Lea served as the activity director at their park in Casa Grande. When she returned to Wisconsin permanently, Lea was a member of three Red Hat Ladies Groups and a Christian Women's group. Lea taught crafts and enjoyed making quilts, jewelry and Christmas ornaments. She formerly taught Sunday school and sang in the Choir at the United Methodist Church. Lea loved all types of animals, especially her dogs and cats. She was a "social butterfly" who loved to talk with people wherever she went and enjoyed playing cards with her husband and friends.

She is survived by her husband of 53 years, Alex Budzinski; daughter Julie (Richard) Van Der Leest of Green Bay; stepdaughters Deanna (Gary) Mossak of Stevens Point and Debbie Hafermann of Port Edwards; grandchildren Courtney Van Der Leest, McKenna (Matt) Hayes, Corey Bailey, Jake (Kari) Bailey, Chris (Kelly Gehrt) Hafermann, Jason (Amanda) Budzinski, James Budzinski and Elizabeth Budzinski; five great grandchildren and by her sister Nancy (Robert) Leher of Junction City. Lea is also survived by her brothers and sisters-in-laws: Mary Ann Joosten, Dorothy Handrick, Margaret Dorshorst-Zimmerman, Alice Mayer, Jo Ann Budzinski, Theresa & Roger Peters, Michael & Jan Budzinski, John & Donna Budzinski, Leonard & Sue Budzinski, and Ed & Diane Budzinski,

Lea was preceded in death by her parents, stepson David Budzinski, her in-laws Alex Sr. & Madlin (Treba) Budzinski, brothers-in law Gene Joosten, Warren Handrick, Darwin Dorshorst, Robert Zimmerman, Michael Mayer & Richard Budzinski.

A sincere thank you to all of her care givers at Marshfield Medical Center CCU and Palliative Care Units.

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Published in Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune from Feb. 19 to Feb. 22, 2021.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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4 entries
February 20, 2021
Alex and family please accept my sincere condolences with the passing of that happy go lucky Lea. She always brought a smile to my face and showed me her appreciation of our friendship. That always meant so much to me. May she rest in peace in the arms of our loving Savior.
Donn Lee Steuck
February 19, 2021
My favorite memory of Lea was when she and I traveled to a seminar together in LaCrosse, WI. When we were driving back home toWisconsin Rapids we were so busy talking we missed the turn off and never noticed it until I saw a sign for Fall Creek and realized we were almost to Eau Claire. Not bad for a couple of employees in the transportation industry. We laughed all the way home arriving much later than we should have. Sure will miss your smile and sense of humor Lea. Suzie
Suzie Pilger
February 19, 2021
I knew Lea all my life, we both grew up on Biron Drive and we’re part of Thr Biron Five, there were 5 of us girls all the same age who lived just blocks from each other, Kay Lattimer, Marcine Rember, Ila Mae Johnson, Lea and me, Diane White. Rip Lea, I will never forget you.
Diane White Staniforth
February 19, 2021
Nancy, Alex and family, so sorry to hear of Lea’s passing. As soon as I saw Lea’s picture of her smiling face it brought back a lot of good memories of our parents close friendship, shared holidays, parakeets and Don’s guitar playing and much more. Thinking of all of you.

Dale and Marsha Glenzer
Dale Glenzer
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